January 30, 2009

Soldier wrapped in box for son’s birthday

A U.S. soldier on leave from duty in Iraq hid inside of a giant wrapped gift box at his son's Nevada grade school to surprise the 6-year-old on his birthday.

Spc. Casey Hurles, 23, said he had not seen his son, Gabriel, since leaving for his second tour of duty in Iraq last June so he planned the classroom surprise upon learning that his leave would overlap with the boy's sixth birthday, the Nevada Appeal reported Friday.

Hurles said Gabriel's mom, Jackie Holocker, 25, brought the giant present with her to Sutro Elementary School in Dayton, Nev., when she delivered cupcakes to the birthday boy's class.

The parents said Gabriel let out a yelp of surprise upon discovering the contents of the box.

Hi daddy, he said.

Hurles, who said his tour of duty is expected to end between June and September, said he was equally emotional upon seeing his son.

He gets bigger every time I see him, Hurles said. It was just a rush of emotion.